“Wayfarer, there is no road, the road is created as one walks.” By Marcelo D’Agostino Editorial: PAHO/WHO eHealth Newsletter (Vol.1, No.2)

 

During the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference, held 17-21 September 2012, the Member States of PAHO/WHO approved the Strategy and Plan of Action on Knowledge Management and Communication for the Region of the Americas, in which they highlighted the importance of ensuring that health information is a regional public good and that access be free and equitable so that citizens are able to make informed health decisions.

Among other things, this new strategy seeks to “close the gap between knowledge and decision-making on health in the Region” through the production of scientific information, exchange, communication, access, and the effective application of evidence-based knowledge to benefit health.”

In conceptual terms, the strategy and action plan that will be applied between 2013 and 2018, has the following objectives:

  • Promote the implementation of public policies for development and dissemination of evidence-based health information and knowledge;
  • Support public health initiatives and the establishment of settings that facilitate the creation, access to, and dissemination of health knowledge, including continuing education, virtual collaboration platforms, and efforts to increase the visibility of health research in countries;
  • Promote and facilitate collaboration to establish partnerships and networks among the countries of the Region in order to strengthen knowledge management and health communication;
  • Promote health information and communication programs that seek individual, social, and policy changes to improve health.

PAHO/WHO will support these lines of action by providing technical cooperation in knowledge management and communication and through the establishment and strengthening of strategic networks that promote digital literacy and ensure good use of quality information.

Wayfarer, there is no road, the road is created as one walks.

“…Wayfarer, your footprints are the road, nothing else; wayfarer, there is no road, the road is created as one walks.
As you walk, the road is created, and when you look back you see the path that you will never tread again.
Wayfarer, there is no road, only ships’ wakes on the sea…”

Our dear PAHO, celebrating your 110th anniversary, these are the footprints—your footprints—which many of us have walked and many more shall follow. They will enable us to see this path that we are making as we walk, so that we can see, one day soon we hope, a universal declaration making access to health information free, equitable, and a right of all who live in society.”

To the “wayfarers” who read this note, we say: do not be discouraged by the obstacles you may encounter. Keep moving forward and work with us to make this dream a Pan American and global reality.

Cantares is a famous song by Joan Manuel Serrat, included on his album entitled “Dedicated to Antonio Machado, poet,” released in 1969. The lyrics consist of three verses by Antonio Machado followed by three verses by Serrat, in which Serrat incorporates intertextual reference to Machado’s verses “Wayfarer, there is no road, the road is created as one walks”. Machado’s verses come from the “Aphorisms and Rhymes” section of “Fields of Castile” (1912). Joan Manuel Serrat use them in the following order:

Everything passes and everything remains; but it is our lot to pass, to pass creating roads, roads over the sea.”

I have never chased after fame nor wished to leave my song in the memory of men; I love the worlds that are as subtle, weightless, and elegant as soap bubbles.

I like to watch those worlds take on the colors of sunshine and scarlet, fly beneath the blue sky, tremble all at once, and burst.”

Wayfarer, your footprints are the road, nothing else; wayfarer, there is no road, the road is created as one walks.

As you walk, the road is created, and when you look back you see the path that you will never tread again.

Wayfarer, there is no road, only ships’ wakes on the sea.

Some time ago, in that place where today the forests dress themselves of Pine, the voice of a poet shouting was heard: “Wayfarer, there is no path, the path is made while walking…”

Stroke by stroke , verse by verse.

The poet died far from his home. The dust of a neighboring country covers him. While distancing himself they saw him crying. “Wayfarer, there is no path, the path is made while walking…”

Stroke by stroke , verse by verse.

When the goldfinch cannot sing, when the poet is a pilgrim, when praying gives us no use. Wayfarer, there is no path, the path is made while walking…”

Stroke by stroke , verse by verse.
Wayfarer, there is no path, the path is made while walking…”

Marcelo D’Agostino
Knowledge Management & Communications Manager
Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization

* Adapted from the personal blog of Marcelo D’Agostino @ http://marcelodagostino.wordpress.com
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